NFL mismatches: Where to find the edge in Sunday's games

Finding an edge in your NFL betting requires you to look at certain teams’ strengths and weaknesses in different areas of the field. Some teams are strong on defense, others on offense. A rare few are packed full of talent in every position.
 
Here’s a selection of Sunday’s games where mismatches at key positions will likely have a big impact on the outcome.

Patriots’ wide receiver Randy Moss vs. Redskins’ secondary

It’s not so much that the Washington Redskins’ secondary is weak, it’s just that Randy Moss is that good. Twice against the Dolphins last week he made virtually impossible catches, one from a 35-yard pass, the other from a 50-yard throw.

On both occasions Moss had two safeties covering him. He rose above them to make the catches look easy. The receiver leads the league in touchdowns and receiving yards for the season mainly because he is the go-to guy for the league’s most accurate quarterback, Tom Brady.

The Redskins, meanwhile, could be without corner back Fred Smoot after he pulled his hamstring in Sunday’s win over the Cardinals. Backup Shawn Springs looks set to face the league’s leading receiver.

New England is a 16-point home favorite.

Steelers’ running back Willie Parker vs. Bengals’ rush defense

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Willie Parker should continue his fine form on Sunday against a poor Bengals’ rush defense. The workhorse receiver has already racked up 600 yards on the ground this season, which is a problem for a Cincinnati defense giving up 135.5 per game.

At 5-foot-10, Parker is not the biggest guy you’ll see on a football field, but he uses his pace and power to carve opposing teams open. He already has four games this season with 100 or more rushing yards and the Steelers have won every game where he’s gone over the century mark.

The Bengals have given up 100 or more yards to four different rushers this season, which could be part of the reason why they are 3 ½-point home underdogs.

Chargers’ turnovers gained vs. Texans’ turnovers lost

Were it not for its stupid mistakes on offense, the Houston Texans could actually have a better record than 3-4. But their inability to protect the ball has cost them, and could continue to do so against a Chargers’ defense that prides itself on forcing turnovers.

Offense starts with the quarterback, and so do offensive mistakes. Texans QB Matt Schaub has thrown as many interceptions this season as he has touchdowns. Combined, Houston has turned over the ball an AFC-high 18 times this season – eight interceptions and 10 fumbles.

On the flip side, the Chargers rank third in the AFC with 19 turnovers gained – seven touchdowns and seven fumbles.

Eagles’ pass offense vs. Vikings’ pass defense

The Eagles favor passing the ball over running it and that could spell trouble for a struggling Vikings’ secondary. Philly quarterback Donovan McNabb has thrown for seven touchdowns and just two interceptions this season, and should dominate the league’s worst pass defense.

Minnesota has given up 282.5 yards per game in the air, allowing Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo to throw for 277 yards and one touchdown in last week’s 24-14 loss.

To make matters worse, safety Dwight Smith and linebacker Vinny Ciurciu are all injury doubts for Sunday.

Philadelphia is a 1-point road favorite.

Browns’ red zone offense vs. Rams’ red zone defense

The Browns are the third-most efficient team in the red zone this season, scoring 11 touchdowns in 17 attempts. This week they face a Rams defense that has allowed its opponents 14 touchdowns out of the 26 times they’ve reached the St. Louis red zone.

Cleveland’s surprising red zone success is largely down to running backs Jamal Lewis, Jason Wright and QB Derek Anderson. The trio has combined for 63 rushing yards and four rushing TDs from inside the 20-yard line, while Anderson has also thrown for 70 yards and seven TDs from the same area.

Based on what they have done so far this season, the Rams’ defensive line will not be able to contain the Browns. St. Louis has given up points, either a touchdown or a field goal, in 22 of the 24 times its opponents have gotten inside the 20-yard line.

St. Louis is a 3-point home underdog.

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Posted by brokedan
6 years ago

johnny, weren't you begging for the same thing the other day? Stop begging and stop paying for picks. We have some pretty educated people in this forum that can help, unfortunately, that's not me.
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Posted by brokedan
6 years ago

snake, your bears are killing me. what the hell is wrong with them?
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Posted by JohnnyK13
6 years ago

Any of you have the Parlay Kings picks on here? This guy has been on fire and I want to start making money but I cant afford this guys package.....anyone out there help me?
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Posted by Reacharound
6 years ago

NFC Playbook, and AFC Playbook on the NFL Network are great for this, I recommend!
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Posted by thebigg
6 years ago

The Big G Pick of the Day Saints -2.5 Browns -3 Two Game Parlay.
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Posted by S2X
6 years ago

I'm New Here But My Picks are Steelers, Indy, Saints Look Decent Pats to win .. but they should cover till they lose you have to ride the pats and the over. Me personally I am a Giants Fan .. I think they are due for a loss every week but they should pull this off against Miam .. GO BIG BLUE
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Posted by chungron2008
6 years ago

The Redskins secondary is one of the few who probably can cover the patriots wide recievers. Washington is actually getting healthy C Raybach will probably start. The key match ups will be shawn springs, and fred smoot covers donte stallworth, and wes welker.LB Marcus Washington will be healthy and will be starting. The NFC East is far better then the AFC East as far as strength on the team. Redskins 27-patriots 19. The Giants and steelers are locks today.If the panthers were healthy they could possibly pull of the upset but no dogs take the Colts.
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Posted by Lancer1415
6 years ago

Alan-Do you even do any research ??? Since when is Fred Smoot a starter and Shawn Springs a back up?????? The Redskins have 2 of the best safties in the league. Im sure starter Shawn Springs will be just fine today against Randy. You guys getting tired of jumping on the New England band wagon!!! Watch and learn today and see a real defence against NE and they will Cover the spread!!!! SEAN TAYLOR WILL KNOCK THE ---- OUT OF RANDY MOSS
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Posted by lrempel
6 years ago

I am not sure where he thinks that moss is the go to guy? Did he not only catch 4 passes last week? The thing with him is that he has just been awesome this year. Not like brady has 1 go to guy, he has about 4 that all get the ball equally as much. He is just spreading out the defense that they can't only cover one guy and then all of a sudden on a play Randy will be wide open down the field. Gluck with that pick Stash. If in fact you put 5k on that parlay.
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Posted by STASH
6 years ago

Comp Parlay, Five***** PICK: all moneyline-BEARS/GIANTS/COLTS/PATRIOTS/CHARGERS.....5k,Las Vegas,Hilton: best payout...... Pay attention !!!!! good luck to all
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Posted by djaconi
6 years ago

and even though the eagles should beat minnesota, i suggest knowone bet on them the rest of the year!
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Posted by djaconi
6 years ago

last weeks mismatch suggestions were ridiculous to be succumbed by covers hype, go with your own research, and sean taylor cannot stop randy moss im sorry
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Posted by SNAKEEYES23
6 years ago

THERE IS BETTER PIX THEN EAGLES THAT'S A TOSS UP LOL AFTER ALL MY BEARS BEAT EAGLES AND WE LOST AT HOME 2 MINNESOTA THAT WAS CR@P
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Posted by jeff-bob
6 years ago

I also like the BROWNS.
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Posted by jeff-bob
6 years ago

STEELERS EAGLES COLTS
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Posted by Blackshirt51
6 years ago

INteresting ideas!!!!
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Posted by lilsickone
6 years ago

COLTS 28.62 PANTHERS 14.70 GIANTS 34.26 DOLPHINS 24.33
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Posted by SNAKEEYES23
6 years ago

giants indi?? opinions?
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Posted by SNAKEEYES23
6 years ago

and richard seymor is back on sunday fellas look 4 some sacking 2 happen new england covered all but cleveland that was a fluke the pats roll just like they did against the boys n dallas lol
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Posted by luckydons
6 years ago

does this guy get paid to write that randy moss is a mismatch against the redskin secondary. tell me something i dont know.
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Posted by Maguire44
6 years ago

Take Minny at home.
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Posted by LoveThePigskin
7 years ago

Thank you for updating the info re: Moss, appreciate the fact that the writers here do that.
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Posted by davemat
7 years ago

i think skins will turn on their D on this game so I'll take skins+16.5.. skins 21 pats 35
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Posted by Demetreous
7 years ago

Why would you think that Moss and Brady will not score over 38 points? Silly! Skins 13 Pats 42
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Posted by lilsickone
7 years ago

Redskins 9 Patriots 26 Steelers 31 Bengals 24 Eagles 12 Vikings 15 Jets 18 Bills 16 Browns 31 Rams 20
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Top Response

Posted by LoveThePigskin
7 years ago

"Moss was not covered by linebackers...he was covered by defensive backs/safeties...why would a linebacker drop 40+ yards into coverage?"